Tagging you from review tag!
Ok, so you win the gold star for the most exciting visit to Hogsmeade. Ever. You kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole chapter. I was completely expecting a nice little day where they had a butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks and then walked by the Shrieking Shack and nervously held hands, unsure of exactly what to say to each other but learning a little about how much they really had in common, blah, blah, blah. You totally turned it around on me and blew me away (literally blew away Draco a few times and I think Astoria once at the end too - haha). So kudos on the story development - the plot thickens. Who are these strange wizards and witch? I thought they might be the Carrows and another bloke, but I am not quite sure if they are canon. Either way, this JUST GOT INTERESTING!
So, a bit more is revealed about Astoria's character in the first part of this chapter. I really like how you have portrayed her as a young woman who has grown up in a house of purebloods. There were expectations for behavior and preserving the family honor is a high priority. I like this depictions because I feel like most authors tend to depict purebloods as evil, when it really is much more complicated than that.
And I have to say a great big AWW at the cute little Harry and Ginny scene. I know it was done to reveal a little about Astoria, but I loved that little moment.
Now on to Draco's anger. This was also nicely done. He has a temper and, although he is trying to work on it - he was definitely pushed to his breaking point. I even was feeling the tension. I just knew that he wouldn't take well to being "rescued" by Hermione - no matter the circumstances. A little more of his bravery was showing through as well, in his protection of Astoria.
I am going to make a guess that Draco apparated the two of them somewhere else, to avoid getting killed. (I hope you don't mind guesses.)
As far as their choices go, I think Astoria might feel like she is a bit in over her head here. She was a little unsure of Draco from the get-go and now his associations have put her in mortal peril. She might feel the need to back off for a bit.
Thanks again for this great chapter - nice writing!
Author's Response: Hi, Beth!
Yes, Draco and Astoria's visit to Hogsmeade didn't really follow the cliche of starting out at Madam Pudifoot's and ending up at the Three Broomsticks. What possible fun would that be? This is Draco and Astoria we're talking about. They deserve something more exciting and unconventional!
The two wizards and the witch who try to kill Draco aren't the Carrows, but they're just as nasty in their own way. You'll find out all about them in the next chapter.
Astoria is pureblood through and through, but her family isn't as extreme about it as the Blacks and Malfoys. They might believe some of the same things, but you'd never see the Greengrasses trying to start a war over blood purity. War is dangerous and bad for business. The Greengrasses are wealthy, but not in the sense of having more money than they'll ever know what to do with. And while Astoria's parents certainly expect her to marry a proper pureblood wizard, they wouldn't disown her if she wound up being friends with a half-blood or (gasp!) even a muggle-born. More than anything, they're practical people.
I was really pleased that I was able to shoe-horn Ginny and Harry into this, and do it in a way that helped to draw out a bit of characterization for Astoria. I love the two of them together!
Draco's temper is probably the worst symptom of the post-war trauma that he's dealing with in this story. The drinking is bad, too, obviously, but a lot of that is in response to the simmering anger that's always just below the surface, waiting to boil over.
That's... not a bad guess. You'll find out for sure in the next chapter. ;)
One thing you'll find out about Astoria is that she's an "in for a knut, in for a galleon" kind of girl. She doesn't frighten easily once she's set her mind to something.
I'm ever so pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!